Weather. Seasons. Sports. Holidays. As the year progresses, schedules and priorities change for consumers as often as the weather does. These seasonal changes can greatly affect the home improvement industry. For business owners and consumers alike, it’s important to know how to handle these changes. For businesses especially, it’s crucial to know how to stay afloat when the phone stops ringing. Our home experts have given us some great tools and tips for coming out on top, even with peaks and dips in revenue based on the time of year.
Below we have compiled four ideas for maintaining a successful business regardless of the season.
Aggressively marketing during slow seasons can help keep a steady revenue stream. Many businesses offer specials and discounts during slower months, which are great messages to advertise. Marketing to build-up hype for the busier season is also an effective tool to make your peak season even more successful. Charlie Randolph of Randolph Plumbing shares his company’s marketing strategy
“We actively remind our customers of the routine maintenance around the house that either they (or we) can do to reduce the chance of a bigger, catastrophic problem happening later. These reminders go out bi-monthly and help us stay in touch with our best customers as well as fill in some of the gaps during those seasonal slow-downs.”
Randolph keeps his business top-of-mind among his customer base through bi-monthly communication.
2) Offer varying services/products
When the weather becomes an issue in the winter for a great part of the country, many businesses can no longer perform outdoor home services. Even more, consumers have moved their focus inside and are more concerned with the comfort of the inside of their homes. This transition can leave many businesses with little to no work. But businesses adapt, they learn new skills and offer different products to keep revenue flowing during their slow season. John F. Peil of JP Solutions, Inc. explains,
“We have also cross trained our installers so that we can perform additional work when the weather is uncooperative.”
Peil has taken the extra step to train his employees to learn new skills that can be completed even in harsh weather conditions.
3) Train your staff
The down time in your business can be a great time to bring your employees to the next level. Knowledgeable employees strengthen your business and should increase your revenue in the long run. Here is Matthew Kettner of MLK Construction take on it,
“We also spend our down time educating our staff on any new products and installation techniques. We strive to do anything that will help our company and our clients throughout the next year. I believe this has helped us stay busy throughout the year and keep our employees around all year.”
4) Move where the season is
Moving for the season is not a viable option for most companies. While nationwide companies can shift their focus geographically, this is not always cost-effective for smaller scale businesses. Smaller businesses may need to offer discounts, lay-off employees, and/or offer new services during different times of the year. Small business owner, Jon Mentes of J. Montes, Inc. says,
“It definitely gets more competitive so prices go down, if we have any big jobs in the pipeline we usually leave them for our slow season if they can wait. Shutting down is not an option!”
Altogether, our home experts are able to keep their businesses afloat regardless of the season based on a few key principles. Take advantage of the slower times to train your employees. Keep your marketing efforts steady and even beef it up during slower months. Finally, vary your services and products based on season so your company always has something to offer.